Case: State of Washington v. United States Department of Homeland Security

2:20-cv-01070 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington

Filed Date: July 10, 2020

Closed Date: Oct. 6, 2020

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the state of Washington regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. On July 15, in a different lawsuit filed against the administration over the same July directive, plaintiffs met with counsel for the government and worked to get the regulations rescinded. In order to effectuate the rescission, ICE removed the guidance from …

COVID-19 Summary: This is a lawsuit brought by the state of Washington regarding the July 2020 release of ICE regulations which, in effect, meant that students on F-1 visas would risk deportation if their school shifted to online learning. On July 15, in a different lawsuit filed against the administration over the same July directive, plaintiffs met with counsel for the government and worked to get the regulations rescinded. In order to effectuate the rescission, ICE removed the guidance from its website and replaced it with the previous guidance which exempted students from the limitation on online learning credits in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. On October 6, the court granted the parties stipulated request for a dismissal.


Background

Generally speaking, F-1 visas (colloquially "student visas") can be granted to international students who attend American universities. However, regulations on the granting of these visas limit the amount of online or distance learning the student can engage in. According to these regulations, an international student can engage in only one such class or three credits of that class per semester. 8 C.F.R. § 214.2(f)(6)(i)(G).

The COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 made this regulation untenable, as schools and universities had to shift to online learning systems. In response, defendant ICE issued an exemption on March 13, 2020, affirming that international students would be permitted to continue distance learning in the United States under their F-1 visas. The exemption would apply until the end of the emergency. However, on July 6, 2020, ICE issued a new directive stating that it would rescind that exemption. This directive would then mean that international students at schools that would still be fully online would have to either transfer to other schools that were at least partially in-person, go back to their countries voluntarily, or risk deportation. The directive also ordered schools that had gone fully online or had simply decided not to have classes to submit an "operational change plan" within nine days, and ordered schools that would have a hybrid system to certify each F-1 student to make sure that they were not taking entirely online courses.

The Lawsuit

This lawsuit was filed on July 10, 2020, four days after the directive was issued. The State of Washington was the plaintiff. Defendants were the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Washington claimed that the new directive violated the Administrative Procedure Act in six ways: 1) the directive was arbitrary and capricious in that it set up implausible deadlines for institutions to decide whether to be fully online or not; 2) the directive was arbitrary and capricious in that it reversed a prior policy without detailing any change in facts; 3) the directive was arbitrary and capricious in that the defendants entirely failed to consider an important aspect of the problem; 4) the directive was arbitrary and capricious in that defendants did not offer any cogent explanation for the change in policy; and 5) defendants did not engage in notice-and-comment rulemaking when issuing the new policy. Finally, Washington also argued that the directive violated the APA because it was issued in excess of ICE's statutory authority and encroached on the state's ability to exercise police powers regarding public health. The plaintiff sought injunctive relief in the form of a temporary restraining order as well as preliminary and permanent injunctions prohibiting the agencies from enforcing the new directive. Plaintiffs also requested that the court vacate and set aside the new directive, in addition to attorney's fees and costs.

The case was assigned to Judge Ricardo S. Martinez.

On July 13, the plaintiff requested an emergency temporary restraining order, asking that the court enjoin the defendants from enforcing the directives for at least two weeks.

Meanwhile, in a different lawsuit filed against the administration over the same directive, President and Fellows of Harvard College, the parties conferred and the defendants agreed to rescind their implementation of the directive and to return to the March policy.

On July 16, the parties filed a joint stipulation stating that the defendants' rescission of the directive mooted the plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order and that the parties agreed to withdraw the motion without prejudice.

On October 6, 2020, the court granted the parties' stipulated request for a dismissal.

Summary Authors

Jack Hibbard (7/13/2020)

Chandler Hart-McGonigle (11/29/2020)

Related Cases

President and Fellows of Harvard College v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, District of Massachusetts (2020)

State of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Northern District of California (2020)

Z.W. v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Central District of California (2020)

Johns Hopkins University v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, District of Columbia (2020)

The Regents of the University of California v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Northern District of California (2020)

University of Oregon v. United States Department of Homeland Security, District of Oregon (2020)

Commonwealth of Massachusetts et al v. United States Department of Homeland Security, District of Massachusetts (2020)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17341739/parties/state-of-washington-v-united-states-department-of-homeland-security/


Judge(s)

Martinez, Ricardo S. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Beneski, Kristin (Washington)

Coates, Spencer W (Washington)

Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington)

Fraas, Lauryn K (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Johnson, Kristin Berger (Washington)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Expert/Monitor/Master

Chaudhry, Asif (Washington)

Harrell, Ivan L II (Washington)

Kaminski, Linda (Washington)

Judge(s)

Martinez, Ricardo S. (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Beneski, Kristin (Washington)

Coates, Spencer W (Washington)

Ferguson, Robert W. (Washington)

Fraas, Lauryn K (Washington)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Johnson, Kristin Berger (Washington)

Other Attorney(s)

Chang, Robert S. (Washington)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Chaudhry, Asif (Washington)

Harrell, Ivan L II (Washington)

Kaminski, Linda (Washington)

Mari, Ana (Washington)

Meotti, Michael P (Washington)

Pan, Shouan (Washington)

Reid, Philip J (Washington)

Schactler, Linda (Washington)

Stewart, Wendy (Washington)

Yoshiwara, Janice Lee (Washington)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:20-cv-01070

Docket

Oct. 6, 2020

Oct. 6, 2020

Docket
1

2:20-cv-01070

Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief

July 10, 2020

July 10, 2020

Complaint
3 & 3-1

2:20-cv-01070

Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

Pleading / Motion / Brief
4-1

2:20-cv-01070

[Declarations Cited in Support of State of Washington's Emergency Motion for Temporary Restraining Order]

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

Declaration/Affidavit

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/17341739/state-of-washington-v-united-states-department-of-homeland-security/

Last updated Aug. 7, 2022, 3:14 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against All Defendants, filed by State of Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet, # 2 Summons, # 3 Summons, # 4 Summons, # 5 Summons)(Fraas, Lauryn) (No Fee Required) Modified on 7/10/2020 FEE PAID AWAWDC-6456692(CDA). (Entered: 07/10/2020)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

2 Summons

View on PACER

3 Summons

View on PACER

4 Summons

View on PACER

5 Summons

View on PACER

July 10, 2020

July 10, 2020

RECAP

Judge Ricardo S. Martinez added. (RE)

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

PACER
2

Summons(es) Electronically Issued as to defendant(s) Matthew Albence, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chad F Wolf. (Attachments: # 1 Summons-Homeland Security, # 2 Summons-Albence, # 3 Summons-Wolf)(RE) (Entered: 07/13/2020)

1 Summons-Homeland Security

View on PACER

2 Summons-Albence

View on PACER

3 Summons-Wolf

View on PACER

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

PACER
3

Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order, filed by Plaintiff State of Washington. Oral Argument Requested. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 7/13/2020, (Fraas, Lauryn) (Entered: 07/13/2020)

1 Proposed Order

View on RECAP

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

RECAP
4

APPENDIX re 3 Emergency MOTION for Temporary Restraining Order Appendix of Declarations by Plaintiff State of Washington (Attachments: # 1 Declarations)(Fraas, Lauryn) (Entered: 07/13/2020)

1 Declarations

View on PACER

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

RECAP

Add and Terminate Judges

July 13, 2020

July 13, 2020

PACER
5

NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Robert Seungchul Chang on behalf of Amicus Parties Sharon Sakamoto, Kabanda Obed, Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality. (Chang, Robert) (Entered: 07/14/2020)

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

PACER
6

MINUTE ORDER at the direction of Judge Ricardo S. Martinez: Telephonic Status Hearing set for 7/15/2020 at 01:00 PM (PDT) before Judge Ricardo S. Martinez. Conference dial-in: 888-251-2909; access code: 1307658#. Plaintiff's counsel directed to notify any party who has not yet appeared in this matter.(LC) (Entered: 07/14/2020)

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

RECAP
7

NOTICE of Appearance by attorney Kristin Berger Johnson on behalf of Defendants Matthew Albence, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chad F Wolf. (Johnson, Kristin) (Entered: 07/14/2020)

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

PACER
8

NOTICE of Intent to Oppose Plaintiff's Motion for Temporary Restraining Order ; filed by Defendants Matthew Albence, United States Department of Homeland Security, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Chad F Wolf. (Johnson, Kristin) (Entered: 07/14/2020)

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

RECAP
9

NOTICE of Supplemental Authority by Plaintiff State of Washington (Fraas, Lauryn) (Entered: 07/14/2020)

July 14, 2020

July 14, 2020

RECAP

Reset Hearings: Due to conflict on the Court's calendar, the TIME of the Status Hearing on 7/15/2020 is moved to 02:15 PM before Judge Ricardo S. Martinez. The dial-in information remains the same as previously provided to the parties.(LC)

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

PACER
10

MINUTE ENTRY for proceedings held before Judge Ricardo S. Martinez- Dep Clerk: Laurie Cuaresma; Pla Counsel: Lauryn Fraas, Kristin Beneski, Spencer Coates; Def Counsel: Kristin Johnson; CR: Nickie Drury; Time of Hearing: 2:15 PM; Telephonic Status Hearing held on 7/15/2020. Defense counsel represents to the Court that the 7/6/2020 directive will be rescinded; the parties will submit a proposed stipulation and order for the Court's review and signature, at which time the pending motion for temporary restraining order will be dismissed as moot. Plaintiff shall advise the Court if an amended complaint will be filed or if the instant case is to be terminated. (LC) (Entered: 07/15/2020)

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

PACER

Set/Reset Hearings

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

PACER

Status Conference

July 15, 2020

July 15, 2020

PACER
11

STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER by parties (Fraas, Lauryn) (Entered: 07/16/2020)

July 16, 2020

July 16, 2020

RECAP
12

ORDER re 11 Parties' Stipulation. The State's 3 Motion for Temporary Restraining Order is moot. Signed by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez.(LH) (Entered: 07/17/2020)

July 17, 2020

July 17, 2020

RECAP
13

Joint Stipulated MOTION To Extend Deadline to Respond, filed by Plaintiff State of Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 9/9/2020, (Fraas, Lauryn) (Entered: 09/09/2020)

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Sept. 9, 2020

Sept. 9, 2020

PACER
14

ORDER granting the Parties' 13 Joint Motion to Extend Defendants' Deadline to Answer or Otherwise Respond to the Complaint. The State of Washington is directed to file a status report by no later than October 5, 2020, and the Defendants are directed to answer or otherwise respond to the Complaint by October 19, 2020. Signed by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez. (PM) (Entered: 09/14/2020)

Sept. 14, 2020

Sept. 14, 2020

RECAP
15

Joint Stipulated MOTION of Dismissal, filed by Plaintiff State of Washington. (Attachments: # 1 Proposed Order) Noting Date 10/5/2020, (Fraas, Lauryn) (Entered: 10/05/2020)

1 Proposed Order

View on PACER

Oct. 5, 2020

Oct. 5, 2020

RECAP
16

ORDER granting Parties' 15 Joint Stipulated Motion of Dismissal. This case is hereby dismissed without prejudice. Signed by Judge Ricardo S. Martinez. (LH) (Entered: 10/06/2020)

Oct. 6, 2020

Oct. 6, 2020

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Washington

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Special Collection(s):

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus)

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 10, 2020

Closing Date: Oct. 6, 2020

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

State of Washington

Plaintiff Type(s):

State Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

United States Department of Homeland Security, Federal

United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement , Federal

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. §§ 551 et seq.

Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

School/University Facilities

School/University policies

COVID-19:

Mitigation Granted

Mitigation Requested

Immigration/Border:

Admission - criteria

Admission - procedure

Deportation - criteria

Deportation - procedure

Visas - criteria

Visas - procedures